Croatian Chimera from Mars: First Look at Red Solstice 2: Survivors

Last week publishing house 505 Games provided editorial staff the opportunity to try out the alpha version of the tactical strategy Red Solstice 2: Survivors… This is the third project from the franchise Solstice, for the development of which the Croatian studio is responsible Ironward

The plot of the universe is pretty simple. The earth fell under the onslaught of a terrible virus STROL, and humanity was forced to flee to Mars. However, the infection was able to reach the Red Planet, so players will have to take control of a squad of elite soldiers to fight back the mutants and find a cure for STROL.

The first game in the series was Solstice Chronicles: MIA, which was a third-person shooter in which you had to shoot waves of enemies. Strategy Red solstice could already offer tactics, within which a small detachment of soldiers was given out under control. But in Red Solstice 2, the Croats decided … to cross the two genres. And the result was controversial.

You see, Ironward’s new creation is experiencing an identity crisis that suffers gameplay. We still command a small detachment, but now it is possible not only to issue orders to soldiers, but also to independently shoot mutants (like in a shooter)

The problem of management immediately arises. In tactical mode, you can directly control only the squad leader, while the rest of the units need to issue orders through the command wheel. Also available are inventory (cartridges, grenades, mines, first aid kits, and so on) and special skills of the commander, which are like DOTA need to be pumped as part of the assignment.

The main manipulations are carried out with the mouse. But as soon as the player decides to shoot himself, it turns out that you also have to move the character with the mouse, and not WASD. At the same time, using the keyboard, you can reload, change weapons and activate objects, but you still need to use the inventory using the mouse or key combinations.

The result is a monster Frankenstein on clay feet, which gradually falls apart. The moment of truth comes somewhere in the second mission, when the player is asked to take control of the road, making his way through endless crowds of mutants. We were able to pass this task only on the sixth attempt – and only in co-op. Yes, we are talking about the normal level of difficulty – on easy, enemies die quickly, only here they can sometimes crush with a crowd.

Red Solstice 2 suffers from a variety of problems. The AI ​​of the teammates is extremely stupid, so they constantly ignore commands and quickly die somewhere behind the scenes. When the enemies are waving an endless horde, it becomes not up to the distribution of commands. In the shooter mode, there are problems with the use of special skills, which must be pressed with the mouse, and the movement of the camera often fails.

Bugs make the situation worse. An alpha version was provided for the demo, but the game is already released on June 17, so it is not a fact that the developers will have time to make the necessary changes. Soldiers can fall into the ground, vehicles can get stuck on the road, mutants can appear in a flower bed. And if you try to lock yourself in a defense room, there are so many enemies on the screen that Red Solstice 2 starts to slow down frantically, although in normal situations Unreal Engine 4 behaves neatly here.

That is why you have to call your friends, although this does not guarantee the success of the enterprise. When there are too many enemies, cartridges quickly run out, and during reloading, monsters can impudently reset their health. Two deaths – and Game Over. Separately, it is worth scolding the local mines, which explode only at the click of the mouse, and the claymores may not react to the approach of the enemy.

The division of characters into several classes should facilitate the passage, but AI dummies do not know how to use their skills, so you need to rely only on living partners. There is also a strategic mode, within which it is necessary to build objects on the global map, study technologies and monitor the level of infection of the Red Planet.

All research and movement around the map takes time, and new developments allow you to influence the mission: get additional equipment, reduce the activity of enemies, and so on. However, this is fraught with the failure of the mission, because the time allotted for their passage is limited. We personally managed to fail the passage of the alpha (apparently, in the demo version there is a limit on the number of moves). In addition, after one of the missions, the game simply ceased to be saved.

Red Solstice 2: Survivors is puzzling so far. Instead of focusing on one thing, the developers decided to give out a gameplay chimera, each of the two components of which interferes with each other.

It’s a shame, because the game looks pretty nice. If Red Solstice 2 were just a tactical strategy or shooter, then the project would be perceived much better. There remains hope that the developers will be able to bring their brainchild into shape in the near future.

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